Demons & Wizards-III

I literally gave a hearty fist pump in the air when I saw this one on the release calendar.  It’s been 15 years or so since we’ve had any new material out of this side project from the main dudes from Iced Earth and Blind Guardian.  And I wish, I really, really wish that we didn’t have to wait so long between releases for this band.

I finally got to see this project in a live setting last year and it really hammered home how amazing the songs from the first two Demons & Wizards albums were.  Hansi Kursch and Jon Schaffer have that perfect songwriting relationship that simply brings out the best in one another.  It’s weird because both of their main gigs have been in a bit of a rut creatively on their past few albums, in my opinion.  Part of me held my breath when I first put this one on because I really didn’t want them to tarnish the short but stellar track record they have with this project.  Fears have been cast aside because this is an album that slots nicely as another quality outing for this band.  Opening track Diabolic hearkens back to the first album and the remainder of the album is just off and running.  Much like the prior releases, the sound is a nice mixture of Iced Earth and Blind Guardian.  You’ve got Schaffer pounding out some of the tastiest riffs that he’s come up with in years and Hansi just guiding his screams and gang vocals over top of Schaffer’s foundation.  Just a really solid metal album.

4.5 flip flops out of 5